Friday, April 22, 2016

New Books Coming Your Way, April 26, 2016

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
288 p. (Fiction)

On the first Tuesday of every month, Clarisse Rivi√®re leaves her husband and young daughter and secretly takes the train to Bordeaux to visit her mother, Ladivine. Just as Clarisse’s husband and daughter know nothing of Ladivine, Clarisse herself has hidden nearly every aspect of her adult life from this woman, whom she dreads and despises but also pities. Long ago abandoned by Clarisse’s father, Ladivine works as a housecleaner and has no one but her daughter, whom she knows as Malinka.

After more than twenty-five years of this deception, the idyllic middle-class existence Clarisse has built from scratch can no longer survive inside the walls she’s put up to protect it. Her untold anguish leaves her cold and guarded, her loved ones forever trapped outside, looking in. When her husband, Richard, finally leaves her, Clarisse finds comfort in the embrace of a volatile local man, Freddy Moliger. With Freddy, she finally feels reconciled to, or at least at ease with, her true self. But this peace comes at a terrible price. Clarisse will be brutally murdered, and it will be left to her now-grown daughter, who also bears the name Ladivine without knowing why, to work out who her mother was and what happened to her.

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound


The Water Museum: Stories by Luis Alberto Urrea
272 p. (Fiction; short stories)

From one of America's preeminent literary voices comes a new story collection that proves once again why the writing of Luis Alberto Urrea has been called "wickedly good" (Kansas City Star), "cinematic and charged" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and "studded with delights" (Chicago Tribune). Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Urrea reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice.

Suffused with wanderlust, compassion, and no small amount of rock and roll, The Water Museum is a collection that confirms Luis Alberto Urrea as an American master.

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound


Soul Sisters: Devotions for and from African American, Latina, and Asian Women by Suzan Johnson Cook
256 p. (Non-fiction; devotional)

The challenges women face in modern society—raising a family, finding and keeping a steady job in a tough economic climate, and powering through everyday struggles—can feel insurmountable without a solid support system. Soul Sisters is one of the many ways in which Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook hopes to reach women in need of such a system.

This book, from one of the world’s leading experts in equality and former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, includes inspirational stories from women of all backgrounds who have overcome life’s obstacles and become even stronger because of their struggles.

Purchase:
Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound


Gold of Our Fathers by Kwei Quartey
368 p. (Fiction; mystery/Ghana)

Darko Dawson has just been promoted to Chief Inspector in the Ghana Police Service—the promotion even comes with a (rather modest) salary bump. But he doesn’t have long to celebrate because his new boss is transferring him from Accra, Ghana’s capital, out to remote Obuasi in the Ashanti region, an area now notorious for the illegal exploitation of its gold mines.

When Dawson arrives at the Obuasi headquarters, he finds it in complete disarray. The office is a mess of uncatalogued evidence and cold case files, morale is low, and discipline among officers is lax. On only his second day on the job, the body of a Chinese mine owner is unearthed in his own gold quarry. As Dawson investigates the case, he quickly learns how dangerous it is to pursue justice in this kingdom of illegal gold mines, where the worst offenders have so much money they have no fear of the law.

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound


The Flower Plantation by Nora Anne Brown
300 p. (Historical fiction; Rwanda)

Arthur Baptiste knows little of Rwanda's past and is unaware of its emerging troubles. He lives with his parents on a flower plantation where he talks to no one, not even the butterflies he collects, until one day Beni appears.

Beni, the cook's daughter, is a child much like Arthur but one who lives in a world far different from his own. Their friendship will take them from innocent adventures to sexual encounters and on toward dark revelations . . .

When news comes that the President has been killed, Arthur is forced to leave his home, the country he knows, and the people he loves. Arthur must say goodbye to Beni and leave her to a fate far worse than either could have imagined.

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound


Black Well-Being: Health and Selfhood in Antebellum Black Literature by Andrea Stone
240 p. (Literary criticism; African-American)

Analyzing slave narratives, emigration polemics, a murder trial, and black-authored fiction, Andrea Stone highlights the central role physical and mental health and well-being played in antebellum black literary constructions of selfhood. At a time when political and medical theorists emphasized black well-being in their arguments for or against slavery, African American men and women developed their own theories about what it means to be healthy and well in contexts of injury, illness, sexual abuse, disease, and disability.

Such portrayals of the healthy black self in early black print culture created a nineteenth-century politics of well-being that spanned continents. Even in conditions of painful labor, severely limited resources, and physical and mental brutality, these writers counter stereotypes and circumstances by representing and claiming the totality of bodily existence.

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound

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